Aug 18, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley (7) hits a double during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Padres' Chase Headley is ready to break out in contract year


chase headley

Chase Headley is ready to bounce back from his awful 2013 season (Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Third base is a position that you can wait on in fantasy baseball drafts.

It is very top-heavy, but after the first 10 guys or so it really drops off.  That, of course, doesn’t mean you can’t get great value at the position.

San Diego Padres’ third baseman Chase Headley is coming off a very disappointing campaign and is also entering a contract season, both of which make him a top “sleeper” in 2014 fantasy drafts.

» Chase Headley, 3B (current ADP: #152):

Chase Headley was easily one of the biggest fantasy busts of the 2013 season.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old was coming off a phenomenal year in 2012.  With career-highs in home runs (31), RBI (115), runs (95), walks (86), and stolen bases (17), Headley was a top pick among 3Bs in 2013 drafts.

Six months later, the once-hot Headley could be found on many waiver wires.

He picked it up towards the end of the season with 5 HR, 14 RBI and a .305/.424/.573 slash line in September, but still finished with a meager 13 dingers and 50 runs batted in.  His .250 BA and .347 OBP were the worst they had been since 2009.

All season long there were rumors of Headley possibly getting traded, with contract extension talks as well.  That’s a lot for a player to dwell on, and Headley certainly let that affect him on the field.

In the off-season, Headley avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $10.5 million deal.  He will be a free agent this winter and fantasy owners everywhere know how well players perform when big paydays are on the line.

Headley injured his calf this spring, causing him to miss nearly every game.  That has dropped his ADP down to 152 — lower than the likes of Manny Machado (123) and Aramis Ramirez (140), both of whom are injury risks.

Fantasy owners probably can’t expect his 2012 numbers.  In fact, Headley’s 2013 stats are very much in line with what he’s done the rest of his career.

Prior to 2012, he’d never had more than 12 HR or 64 RBI.  His HR/FB ratio of 21.4% in 2012 was truly unsustainable, and he also had the second-lowest BABIP (.319) of his career last season.

Keeping those those stats, his career averages, and his impending free-agency in mind, Chase Headley ($6) looks like a better option at his current ADP than fellow 3Bs Josh Donaldson ($17) and Ryan Zimmerman ($18).

2014 Projections: .280/.361/.415, 21 HR, 84 RBI, 70 R, 15 SB

» Missed any of my earlier picks?  Please click here for links to all the sleepers I’ve have covered from each team so far.



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